The world is currently facing a pandemic with little historical precedence. In the face of this challenge, we cannot lose sight of the vital importance of proper pest management in protecting people, food, and structures. Therefore, to help individuals make informed decision about pest control during this time, we suggest the following items be discussed with your pest management service provider.
- Is it necessary to continue pest control service during this time? Every situation is unique, and thus there is not a simple answer to this question. It is recommended that customers discuss specific factors with their pest control provider, such as what pest problem they are facing, and what risks treatment (or lack thereof) may pose to residents.
- Can pest problems be diagnosed remotely? Due to the need to maintain recommended social distancing, residents should consult with both pest management professionals and their local extension agents to properly identify pests. Texting or emailing pictures of pests or their damage can do much of this remotely.
- Can an exterior perimeter treatment be performed? Many household pests (ants, spiders, crickets, millipedes, etc.) enter dwellings from outdoors. Consequently, exterior treatments applied around entry doors, garages, windows and foundations can be very effective at preventing such pests from entering. That said, these treatments will not work against all pests (e.g. bed bugs), which is why each situation must be discussed with the pest management professional.
- Can the service be discussed prior to arrival? We recommend you contact your pest manager and go over all necessary details prior to their arrival. This will allow time for you to go through any items of concern so they are aware of and can accommodate any requests you may have.
- Notify the company of any signs of illness: It is very important that you notify the pest manager of any symptoms you may be experiencing prior to their arrival (e.g. cough, fever, etc.). This will ensure they are properly prepared and can reduce any chance of disease transmission.
By discussing these items with a pest management service provider, residents will be able to make an informed decision that is best for them and their families.
For additional information related to COVID-19, please see the following:
By Zachary DeVries, Extension Entomologist
Thanks to Matt Christiansen (Critter Control of Lexington), Charlie Asberry (All-Rite Pest Control, Inc.), Matt Schaffer (IPM Pest and Termite), Keith Smith (Action Pest Control, Inc.), Donnie Blake (OPC Service), Mike Potter (University of Kentucky) for helpful discussions and reviews of this material.